Short-term stopgap spending bills have become commonplace on Capitol Hill, making planning difficult for those who manage federal construction programs and companies that pursue those projects. But government and industry officials now know how much funding they will have to deal with through the end of fiscal 2009, thanks to a newly enacted $410-billion omnibus spending bill. With critics highlighting the package’s estimated $7.7 billion in earmarked funds for specific projects, House Democrats have put in place new requirements on earmarking. The legislation, which President Obama signed on March 11, merges the nine uncompleted 2009 appropriations bills and funds most
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.